19 August 2019

Singapore country snapshot

How can we help?

This article is produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit

After five years of stable growth Singapore’s economy is expected to slow as the effects of the US–China trade war start to bite on key parts of regional supply chains.      

Singapore signed its first free trade agreement (FTA) under the ASEAN Free Trade Area in 1993. In keeping with its open-trade agenda, the country has since expanded its portfolio to cover 18 regional and bilateral agreements with 24 trading partners. It also recently signed a bilateral agreement with the European Union, the first to be completed between the EU and an ASEAN country. Singapore is the EU’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, and the EU is Singapore’s third largest global trading partner.

Singapore regularly ranks among the best countries in the world in which to do business based on its political stability, economic management and effectiveness in policy implementation. It places first out of 82 countries in the latest EIU Business Environment Rankings. As well as sound policies, the EIU identifies market growth opportunities in the luxury retail and hospitality sectors based on rising personal disposable income and an influx of tourists.

Enjoying similar success, Singapore ranks second out of 82 countries in the EIU Technological Readiness Rankings, a measure of how well prepared the world’s 82 largest economies are for technological change. It ranks first among Asian countries. The government has been focused on guiding the economy towards a high-technology future. In 2019  it announced a further $700m to support artificial intelligence (AI) research, on top of the $150m pledged in 2017.

In addition, the government will continue to prioritise the digitisation of public services. There are advanced plans in place to implement a single national digital identity. The long-term goal is that, by 2020, citizens will be able to launch businesses based on access to data from GovTech, a public agency that develops and manages data services.

Want to learn more? Click and browse by country

Issued by HSBC Holding plc

Interested in expanding your business to ASEAN? Let us help.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Written by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

While every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, The Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information, opinions or conclusions set out in this article. The findings and views expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.

The information contained in this ASEAN website is derived from sources we believe to be reliable but which we have not independently verified. HSBC makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any nature nor is any responsibility of any kind accepted with respect to the completeness or accuracy of any information, projection, representation or warranty (expressed or implied) in, or omission from, this ASEAN website. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss (whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise) arising from the use of or reliance on this ASEAN website or any information contained herein by the recipient or any third party. If you seek to rely in any way whatsoever upon any content contained in this ASEAN website, you do so at your own risk.

This ASEAN website does not constitute an offer or solicitation for, or advice that you should enter into or start using, any of the arrangement, product or services mentioned in this ASEAN website. Recipients should not rely on this ASEAN website in making any decisions and they should make their own independent appraisal of and investigations into the information described in this ASEAN website. No consideration has been given to the particular business objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any recipient. Any examples given are for the purposes of illustration only.

All the information set out in this ASEAN website is provided in good faith to the best of HSBC’s knowledge and understanding of the current law, rules, regulations, directions and guidelines governing or otherwise applicable to the relevant services offered by HSBC but HSBC makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Future changes in such law, rules, regulations etc. could affect the information in this ASEAN website but HSBC is under no obligation to keep this information current or to update it. Expressions of opinion are those of HSBC only and are subject to change without notice.

Copyright © The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Bangkok Branch 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this ASEAN website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of HSBC.

Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Bangkok Branch. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is incorporated in the Hong Kong SAR with limited liability.

You are leaving the HSBC Commercial Banking website.

Please be aware that the external site policies will differ from our website terms and conditions and privacy policy. The next site will open in a new browser window or tab.

You are leaving the HSBC Commercial Banking website.

Please be aware that the external site policies will differ from our website terms and conditions and privacy policy. The next site will open in a new browser window or tab.